Socialist Worker

Ian Blair denies reality of police racism

Issue No. 2146

Stephen Lawrence’s mother Doreen once asserted that no police officer had tended her dying son because they didn’t want to get “black” blood on their hands.

The Macpherson Report into the police handling of that case swept away the idea that racist cops were just a few “rotten apples”.

It found that institutional racism within the Metropolitan Police had allowed Stephen’s killers to escape justice, and said his family had been treated with “insensitivity and lack of sympathy”.

Stephen’s murder lifted the lid on police racism – and top cops and politicians have been fighting to put it back ever since.

The latest effort came this week from former Metropolitan Police boss Sir Ian Blair. He said, “I do not necessarily believe that there was anything racist about the activities of the Metropolitan Police in relation to the Lawrences.”

That Blair was speaking at an inquiry triggered after the Met found itself at war with its Asian officers speaks volumes.

Today, many young black people find themselves disproportionately targeted by police stop and searches. No amount of spin can hide the fact that the Met continues to be riddled with racism.

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What We Think
Tue 7 Apr 2009, 19:04 BST
Issue No. 2146
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